Russia's defence ministry will buy more than 1,000 new military rotorcraft by the end of this decade, according to Dmitry Petrov, general director of the Russian Helicopters industry group.

While he declined to give an exact number, Petrov says a production plan for the "immediate future" has been accepted by the customer in accordance with Moscow's State Armament Programme 2020.

The agreement calls for "a little over" 100 military helicopter deliveries this year, with the rate to proceed at between 120 and 160 aircraft annually in the coming years, Petrov says. While not all of the expected sales have been turned into firm contracts yet, the defence ministry is expected to finalise several more "quasi-firm" orders later this year.

Following calls from its suppliers, the ministry has moved away from its standard practice of awarding one-year contracts. Instead, it will make long-term agreements with five final assembly plants, in Arseniev, Kazan, Kumertau, Rostov-on-Don and Ulan-Ude. The first such deal, made with the Rostvertol plant in Rostov-on-Don, was recently signed linked to the Mi-26, Mi-28N and Mi-35M.

According to Petrov, a new helicopter will be available for the Russian navy in 2017-18, with Kamov having already received the required specifications. The same design house will produce "navalised" versions of its Ka-52 reconnaissance and attack and Ka-226 utility helicopters for the service as an interim measure.

Moscow has also allocated funding to develop a Mi-171A2 transport, which Petrov says should obtain certification in 2014. It will also support the use of the Mi-34S1 to support the development of technologies for unmanned helicopters.

Source: Flight International